Rumblings from the CME Ecosystem

CMS has been struggling with the issue of whether, under the relatively new Open Payments Program, to require public disclosure of corporate sponsorships of continuing medical education programs. CME, under the original iteration of the Open Payments Program (a/k/a the Sunshine Act) was given a pass on sponsorship disclosure requirements.

After all, what's not to like about CME? Who doesn't like physician education? The CME Coalition (a trade group) likes it a lot. 

CMS, apparently, is liking non-disclosed sponsored CMS less, as witnessed by the proposal to eliminate the exclusion from the Sunshine Act. Or, maybe it is that CMS is not liking the self-disclosed attempts by the CME Coalition to stretch the list of accrediting bodies entitled to offer CME inside the Sunshine Act exemption.

I am not unsympathetic to an industry on the ropes.  The Sunshine Act is only one manifestation of a movement toward decreased drug and device-makers' financial support for CME.  This is an industry feverishly trying to re-invent itself in the face of public clamor.

Informally, I track the most common questions I am asked about health care law and regulation. Not a leader by any means, but coming on strong is: " How did my physician come to recommend the drug/device they tell me they recommend exclusively for patients like me?"

How, indeed.



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